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Monday, 25 February, 2002, 11:39 GMT
Your say on Salt Lake City
The 2002 Winter Olympics come to an end with controversy still raging.
What did you make of all the action?
Much of the action on the snow and ice around Utah was overshadowed by security scares, boycott threats, the obligatory druggies, and of course Skate-gate.
With claims that American patriotism left little room for others to shine and numerous blatant judging errors, many have been left with a bad taste in their mouths at the end of the games.
But it was not all doom and gloom with Great Britain claiming their best ever medal haul for 66 years.
After enthusiastically watching the curling, I myself have become
hooked on the sport, just as many others in the UK have, including Steve Cram. So why not fulfil one of his by now obvious ambitions and give him a go at curling. You should teach him the basics then
as a climax re-create the final stone of end 10 to win gold. You know the one! I feel this would make quality viewing.
Congrats to all the US athletes for giving us the most successful Winter Olympics of our time. The biggest surprises for myself were the incredible world record performances of Derek Para and Kriss Witty in speed skating and Sara Hughes' incredible long program that captured the gold.
On the negative side I believe "The Great Baby" was on the wrong for lashing out at Americans and not at his superstar Canadian hockey team that was average until the final game. If it were not for the USA Wayne, you would not have fame nor fortune. Finally, to all the bitter writers in this forum, it is easy to use words such as bias and favouritism when your country is at the bottom of the medal count. Time clocks don't lie.
"I must admit I loved the look on US faces when they realised that Steven Bradbury had won that probably was the moment of these games". Well, I must admit I can't describe to you how hard I laughed when teenage American Megan Quann beat Susie O'Neill in the 200m butterfly in Sydney (for which she was the overwhelming favourite). I've never heard a crowd get so quiet so fast. You could hear crickets chirping in that building. I guess we all have our moments.
To all those people above who point out that this website is an international one which is based in the UK. It is more representational of all the world's view as shown above, and therefore celebrates the events of all the world's athletes, unlike many an American site, which like the Olympics were mainly an American flag-waving affair. It was however better than the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Best moments have to include Aussie golds in two events, the figure skating all competitions, and the best two were that of the women's curling win and also that of Sarah Hughes winning gold at 16 years old. You don't need to be patriotic to enjoy the Olympics.
The Korean speed skaters blew me away. I have never witnessed such speed and grace! They have won my deepest admiration.
I witnessed the women's downhill and have to say that the French women's skier was amazing. I cheered for her and every participant, but I noticed a large group (I later learned they were the Austrian team) left immediately after Picabo Street's run. But I also saw Britians, Austrialians, Canadians, and sadly even Americans leave.
A local Utahn tried to shame them into staying - I know he was a local because he compared them to "Cougar fans". The Cougars are a local University's American Football team. The fans have a bad reputation for not supporting their team if it does poorly and never cheering for any other team. They are considered the ultimate example of bad sportsmanship.
Those that watched the games: I sincerely hope you had a good time, if not it is your loss. As for me, I didn't want the Olympics here at first. I, along with most Utahns, was humiliated by the bidding scandal, and I had to put up with massive road construction for over five years. My children will be paying taxes to cover the extra security costs.
I make no apology, I learned to live with it and all that came with hosting the world. I had a blast! If you think your country can do better, I'd love to come visit and find out when you host the games.
I was able to attend the games in SLC. I had an incredibly wonderful experience. Lines moved very quickly, security was good but not oppressive, and the venues were excellent (with the exception of the luge track - bad viewing for spectators!).
I was very impressed with the number of volunteers working at the games. They were all very cheerful and helpful. Whoever coordinated that program should be commended. Some of those volunteers quit their jobs just to come and help out with the Olympics. Those volunteers worked 12hr days, some out in the freezing cold. The only compensation they received was a jacket with Olympic symbols on it.
I met several people from other countries and they were very friendly. I even got to join a crowd from Russia and was given a Russian flag to wave. I enjoyed cheering for them because they were the underdogs against Canada in women's hockey. There was a true Olympic spirit at the games. And I am so happy I was a part of it. Thanks to Salt Lake City for all the efforts made to welcome the world and to provide a great Olympics.
Maybe Michael (below) ought to compare the atmosphere at Salt Lake to the atmosphere at Sydney. Having been at both I can say that the Australian public were patriotic but at least supported other performances and cared about other athletes, respecting the effort put in and the rewards gained. The Americans didn't know or care about any events that they didn't win. In most cases they wouldn't even watch an event if an American wasn't favourite. Coverage in the US press was not only one sided, it was difficult to know that we weren't watching the American Olympic trials.
These games were more successful than even most Americans had expected. The competition was intense and there were surprises all around. Some memorable moments from these games were the injured snowboarder riding his board down the middle of the half pipe and getting a 0.1 from two of the judges as well as the ski jumper who had to walk back up the ramp to redo his jump. Both athletes received thunderous applause from the gracious crowd.
I sat every day and watched the Olympics with awe. I thought to myself, "Why didn't I work hard enough in my youth to earn the opportunity to compete for a medal in these games?" The athletes were amazing, and seeing people from all over the world cheering their home crew was inspiring.
But then I come to the BBC and my happiness is stopped short as I see more and more messages about how supporting local heroes, also known as patriotism, is a crime against the world. I ask that all who feel troubled by this display of affection to look to their own actions when they are proud someone from their town and country competes. Everyone in the world has pride, so let us be proud of the spectacle witnessed instead of denouncing the very support that give the athletes their winning spirit.
I suppose the only solution is to ban all flags and country affiliations. Do you think the Greeks will accept not being able to support their home-town heroes in 2004 because it might be conceived as being too patriotic for other nationals to stomach? I think not.
Some thrilling and eye-opening events, learning that even throwing a lump of stone across the ice could create a nail-biting drama. The down-side was the Americans - both competitors and audience, with their manic patriotism, their endless whooping and flag-wagging.
I am tired of the American conspiracy theories - it all stems from jealousy. It's funny that the lead in to this story is critical about American patriotism, but in the next breath celebrates the British medal haul. All I can say is that I am glad that Pelletier and Sale were not Americans or we'd never hear the end of the world's whining.
I pity the athletes who have had their achievements belittled by the US media. I wish they understood what it means to be gracious hosts. Could they not learn from the example of the Australians in 2000? They love their country and their athletes as much as the US, but they know how to respect great athletic performances, no matter what the nationality.
The games were fantastic, with surprise medals and countries making their mark for the first time. I was thrilled with the young Swiss jumper winning gold medals, the Australian Freestyle Aerial gold and USA Women's bobsled win - as were all Americans.
References to the US fans not supporting other countries are not true. Please remember that the judging/refereeing is dictated by the International Olympic Committee, and international judges - not solely by the Americans.
I find Sara's and Stephen's comments somewhat bizarre. Sara claims the games "epitomised" distasteful US patriotism. When Americans wave a flag and support their athletes it's apparently hard to stomach. I guess all the other flags I saw being waved were digitally imposed onto my television screen. Perhaps the Scottish flag on Alain Baxter's head was something other than patriotism.
Kim Dong Sung's disqualification may have been a disgrace, but I'm not familiar enough with short-track speed skating rules to say. However, the referee who ruled for the DQ was Australian. Please tell me what he had to gain from showing favouritism to an American skater.
Stephen claims that the North American media forced the Sale-Pelletier decision. While the coverage was beyond absurd, the IOC could have stood its ground and let the results stand. What would have happened? Would the SLOC have cancelled the rest of the games? I think not.
You're all more than welcome to participate in the popular sport of dumping on the US, but your sour grapes should make some kind of sense. Frankly, this does not.
I couldn't agree with Stephen Rutkowski more, these games epitomised everything that the rest of the world finds impossible to stomach about US patriotism - and it came as no surprise to me that they found a way to make sure that Ohno got a gold medal somehow... (I must admit I loved the look on US faces when they realised that Steven Bradbury had won that probably was the moment of these games)!
Taking a purely parochial view- and the judges and officials did so why shouldn't I- it has been a great games for Britain. The Scottish curlers really did us proud and Rhona Martin's nerves of steel amazed me. Congratulations to Baxter, Coomber and the BOA. I really enjoyed watching these games and can't wait till Turin.
Ice Hockey was superb, culminating in Sunday night's fantastic final.
It is a brilliant TV sport.
These games will probably be known as the Farcical Olympics and rightly so. Right from the corrupt bidding process through to all the absurd decisions, these Olympics have mostly been an exhibition of favouritism for the Americans.
The Sale-Pelletier saga smacks of North American media influence. The disqualification of Kim Dong Sung was an absolute disgrace. I felt so much pity for him when he was proudly flying his country's flag only to drop it in shock and disbelief upon hearing the announcement of his disqualification.
The referees in the USA-Russia ice hockey match were totally biased, ensuring a gold medal match up that the officials obviously wanted. And to complete the sour tasting picture the often partisan and ungracious crowds haven't even the decency to applaud when an opposing nation takes the gold medal.
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